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Labour open to debt-to-income ratios if investors are targeted

Labour could be open to backing debt-to-income ratios, but only if they target investors and don't hurt those buying their first home.

Political Editor Corin Dann analyses the latest Quotable Value housing figures. Source: 1 NEWS

Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson has signalled his party could be willing to back central bank debt-to-income ratios, if they can be tailored to target investors.

However, Mr Robertson said it would not support a blanket debt-to-income ratio being introduced by the Reserve Bank as it would unfairly target first home buyers.

Finance Minister Bill English earlier today confirmed he is in discussions with the Reserve Bank about introducing debt-to-income ratios.

The move would limit the amount someone could borrow depending on their income.

Finance Minister Bill English today confirmed he was in discussions with the Reserve Bank about debt-to-income ratios. Source: 1 NEWS

It is used in the UK where most people can borrow no more than 4.5 times their income.

In Auckland the median house price is nine times the median income.

The Reserve Bank has indicated it wants to look at introducing debt-to-income ratios to target the housing market.

It's not known whether they could be designed in such a way as to target investors.

English said the Government has not yet given permission for the bank to introduce the measures.

Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler is to deliver his latest Monetary Policy next week.